California High-Speed Rail Authority Releases RFQ to Purchase First Trainsets

The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s Board of Directors has approved the release of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to procure the first trainsets for the state’s electrified high-speed service.

These trains will operate at speeds of up to 220 miles per hour on the California High-Speed Rail route that will ultimately span between San Francisco and San Diego.

California High Speed Rail
From 2029, the California High Speed Rail system will run from San Francisco to Los Angeles in under three hours at speeds of over 200 miles per hour

This announcement is part of a two-step procurement process in which the Authority will initially evaluate Statements of Qualifications (SOQs) from interested parties. It will then create a shortlist of qualified applicants before releasing a Request for Proposal (RFP) to the selected teams in the first quarter of 2024.

Board Chair Tom Richards said:

“Our action today allows us to deliver on our commitment to meet our federal grant timelines to start testing. This is an important milestone for us to deliver high-speed rail service in the Central Valley and eventually into Northern and Southern California.”

Under this procurement process, the Authority aims to procure six trainsets capable of operating at 220 mph and tested up to 242 mph.

It seeks to receive two prototypes in 2028 to support static testing, dynamic testing and trial runs. An additional four trainsets will then be delivered by the end of 2030 to support revenue operations on the 171-mile Merced to Bakersfield section.

Authority CEO Brian Kelly said:

“These trainsets ensure that we are procuring the latest generation of high-speed trains for this first-in-the-nation project. We look forward to working with members of the industry as we strive to develop a market for high-speed trains in the United States.”

The scope of work for the contract is anticipated to include:

  • The design, manufacturing, initial storage, integration, testing and commissioning of the trainsets
  • Maintenance of each trainset for 30 years and provision of all spare parts
  • The provision, testing, commissioning, maintenance and update of the driving simulator
  • Development and provision of design criteria to inform interfaces with the facilities, track and systems
  • Participation in the testing and commissioning of the facilities, track, systems and stations
  • The development and provision of information to support the certification and subsequent commissioning of the trainsets
  • The operation and maintenance of the Heavy Maintenance Facility, Light Maintenance Facility and Trainset Certification Facility

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